Sony Swings to Big First-Half Profit on Videogames, Weak Yen

By AFP-JIJI
October 29,2015
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Sony's CEO Kazuo Hirai (Photo by Fumishige Ogata)

(AFP)--Sony on Thursday posted a six-month net profit of almost $1.0 billion, crediting its PlayStation videogame unit and a weak yen for a big improvement in its finances as the company moves past years of losses.

The Tokyo-based electronics giant said net profit came in at 116.0 billion yen ($960 million) in the first half of its fiscal year, reversing a 109.2 billion yen loss a year earlier.

Sony also reversed a year-earlier operating loss although sales ticked down 0.3% to 3.7 trillion yen.

Sony has been emerging from a painful corporate restructuring that has included layoffs and asset sales, with executives focusing on its upbeat videogame unit and turning around a long-struggling television division.

A sharp decline in the value of the yen has given a lift to some of Japan's best-known exporters, including Sony, as it made them more competitive overseas and inflated their repatriated profits.

But Sony has struggled in the consumer electronics business that built its global brand, including losing billions of dollars in televisions over the past decade as it faced fierce competition from lower-cost rivals from South Korea and Taiwan.

The upbeat earnings Thursday come a day after Sony said it would acquire Toshiba's image sensor business.

The deal could boost Sony's position as a global leader in image sensors, which are key components in smartphones and other mobile devices.